Piedra de sol
by Octavio Paz
Among all the animals mentioned in the poem, birds definitely get most of the attention. And who can blame the speaker? Birds are awesome. But besides being cool, they also represent life, youth, and joy in the poem. Think about the way a bird soars through the sky the way that we (well, without the aid of jetpacks) can't. Think about a bird's song and how happy it sounds. These are all important attributes that connect the bird to life and to the beloved in "Piedra de sol."
- Line 14: This is the first appearance of a bird, and it happens for just an instant, a flash. This is foreshadowing of the importance that the single moment will be in the rest of the poem.
- Lines 16-19: The bird in this section represents the passing of time—a forest turns to stone after many, many eons, and the birds peck away the light, making the days pass.
- Line 53: The hummingbird is strongly related to fire in many different mythological traditions, and here burns in the flames of the beloved's eyes.
- Line 95: The bird is again related to the single instant of the memory, and to life, in a simile.
- Line 121: The eagles here are part of the series of death-related images.
- Line 219: The bird is now related to pain and violence in this simile.
- Line 406: The beloved is compared to a thousand birds in this simile, returning to the use of birds to signal life.
- Lines 414-415: Now instead of having a deathly meaning, the eagle is contained in the eyes of the lovers, and is related to life and joy.